Who doesn’t love a steaming hot shower after a tiring day at work?
But there’s nothing more disappointing than finding out there’s no hot water supply in your bathroom, or worse, anywhere at home! However, you don’t need to call the plumbers immediately, as there are some checks and repairs that you can do at home to counter this problem.
And in today’s guide, we will tell you about a few of them. So dive in!
What Causes Low Hot Water Pressure?
Like any other plumbing problem, the issue of low hot water pressure can be caused due to various reasons. Some of the most obvious ones are mineral or debris deposition in hot water pipes, leaks, clogged water filters, and other issues with your home’s plumbing system.
Moreover, the reason will largely depend on the location of pressure loss. For example, if the hot water pressure loss is only on the upper floors of your home, then it’s likely caused by the formation of air pockets in hot water pipes. And in most cases, this can be easily fixed by flushing the hot water system.
Likewise, a sudden loss of hot water from the shower or faucet can result from dirty cartridges, partially or fully closed shutoff valves, or damage to the water supply pipes. In the following sections, we will walk you through some common contributors to low hot water pressure and how to resolve them effectively.
Reasons For Low Hot Water Pressure And How To Fix Them
1. Issues With The Water Valves
The water that comes into your house from a central supply source goes through two separate valves- the main shutoff valve (placed outside) and a water metre valve. A drop-in hot and cold water pressure often turns off the shutoff valve completely.
However, this may not be intentional, as the plumber or your family may have turned it off while working with the plumbing and forgot to turn it on. This is one of the first things you can check to fix the water pressure problem.
2. Clogged Faucets
If there’s not enough hot water in only a few faucets in your home, the problem can be traced back to blocked hot water faucets. Usually, mineral and debris deposits or corrosion in the interior of the faucet cartridges can severely restrict the flow of water.
We’d suggest removing the faucet and cleaning it thoroughly to eliminate all the accumulation. You may also have to replace the cartridge or the entire faucet in case of prolonged deposition since it can cause irreparable damage.
3. Corroded Pipes
Old steel and copper pipes are extremely susceptible to corrosion and rust, which will invariably reduce the water pressure. You may not be able to detect this problem from the get-go as it generally takes some time for the build-up to reduce the water flow.
If the metal pipes in your home are exposed to hard water or are older than 7 or 8 years, you should get them checked by professionals. And based on the extent of the corrosion, you may be advised to replace them.
4. Broken Pipes Or Water Leaks
Broken or leaking plumbing lines are one of those problems that demand immediate attention, and the worst part is that they may not always be visible.
We suggest checking the floors and walls for dampness if there’s a sudden drop in hot water pressure without any visible leaks. These signs will tell you if any leaking pipe behind the walls or floor needs to be repaired or replaced.
How To Deal With Hot Water System Problems?
So far, we have discussed problems affecting hot and cold water supply lines. Now, let’s look at some issues specific to hot water systems (like the hot water tank) and how they can be resolved to increase the low water pressure.
Ideally, repairing your hot water system is the best option; if general maintenance doesn’t work, a new hot water system may be required to solve your plumbing problems.
1. Sediment Build-up In The Hot Water Outlet Line
Debris or mineral deposits in the outlet line from the water heater or hot water system tank can restrict the hot water flow. Such blockages generally result from hard water entering the water heater, anode rod reaction, and worn-out inner lining.
To remove the mineral build-up, start by switching off the power of the heater and its cold water supply line. Now, locate the drain valve, place a bucket under it and carefully remove it using a flathead screwdriver. Drain out just a small amount of water to prevent any water leak from the system’s top.
Turn on the nearest hot water faucet to allow air into the hot water unit and disconnect the hot water outlet pipe on the heater using wrenches. Clean the pipe opening thoroughly to break up the accumulation and reconnect the pipe. This should help eliminate the problem of reduced water pressure.
2. Flushing The Hot Water System
Ideally, you should flush the hot water system at least a couple of times a month, depending on the use of hot water. This frequency should be increased if your home receives too much hard water.
First and foremost, switch off the power supply to the heater and connect a garden hose to its draining valve to remove the water from the tank. Make sure that the open end of the pipe is near an outlet.
You can also open the nearest hot water faucet to speed up the draining, but we’d suggest doing so only after removing the aerator (or the part that contains the holes). This will prevent it from getting clogged by the dirty water from the tank.
Keep the faucets open until the entire process is complete.
Remove the valve using a pair of wrenches to allow any leftover water to drain out of the tank. When it’s empty, turn on the heater’s cold water supply to “wash” the tank from inside. You will see the garden hose draining the sediment-filled water. And the tank cleaning will be complete when clean water flows from the hose.
Shut off the drain valve and switch the cold water supply to fill the heater tank. During this time, you will hear air coming out from the faucet. Please turn it off only when there’s a clean, smooth water flow.
Switch on the water heater and check all the hot faucets to ensure adequate water pressure. Voila! The water supply is now restored.
3. Malfunctioning Pressure Regulator
A faulty pressure regulator can be one of the primary reasons for reduced pressure in your hot water faucets. A pressure regulator regulates the hot water supply in your home, and you can check its efficiency with a pressure gauge. If you have a broken pressure regulator, then you’re likely to experience low pressure throughout the entire house.
Attach it to one of the outdoor taps, turn on the water supply in your home and check if the pressure’s between 52 and 75 PSI. Anything lower can indicate a problem with the regulator, so consider getting it fixed or changed.
4. Clean Or Install New Water Filters
Many people prefer using water filters to prevent the hot water tanks from getting affected by minerals and sediment deposits brought in by hard water supply. However, they often fail to check the condition of these filters, as too much clog in them can affect both the hot water fixtures and the plumbing of the whole house.
Clogged filters should be cleaned or replaced without delay to maintain the hot water pressure.
What Else Can You Do To Ensure Normal Pressure In Your Hot Water Faucets?
One of the best ways to prevent the problem of low hot water pressure is to keep the hot water heater (or any other related fixture, for that matter) in pristine condition. Hence, we suggest cleaning it regularly according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Aside from that, ensure your home’s plumbing system is always free from clogs and other damages. Check for leaks or signs of pipe damage and get them repaired or replaced at the earliest.
Many people may prefer doing this on their own, but they can run into trouble if they aren’t familiar with the plumbing system or don’t have the right tools to fix it. In such cases, we’d strongly recommend getting help from plumbing experts near you.
Moreover, professional and trained plumbers will offer quick and suitable solutions during plumbing emergencies. So, it’s always a good idea to know about the best plumbing service in your region.
Fixing your low hot water pressure
On that note, we have reached the end of our guide for today.
We hope to have prepared you for the unfortunate incidence of low hot water pressure, but here are a few words of advice before we sign off. Firstly, ensure you have the right tools if you plan to fix it on your own.
If you need a professional plumber on the Sunshine Coast, speak to one of our industry-leading customer support representatives today.
Opening bolts or screws with the wrong wrenches or screwdrivers can cause irreparable damage to the fixture. Wear protective rubber gloves and switch off the power supply when working with water heaters.
Lastly, do some research in advance to ensure that the plumbing services in your area have the required licence and certifications to work. This way, you won’t face any issues when availing of their services.
See you next time!